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Stephen Chambers

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Everything posted by Stephen Chambers

  1. That's what I expected, but wanted to be sure of - it's a good range for a treble if you're playing band parts, or for folk/traditional music. You're right, they're diving between years in those entries, with #33000 and 33001 in 1933, but #33002 in 1934. They'd give you a headache!
  2. Aha, so there were at least TWO of them made then! Only #33011 was made in 1934 (July 19) not 1935 (or '36) - which is why I didn't find it. And there's another 36-key below it, #33012 the following day, with rather a confusing description: "SP. [probably Special, rather than silver plate, or did it have metal ends?] Black [ebonised woodwork] 36 Keys No7 [strictly a 56-key tenor-treble, though, with so few buttons, more-correctly a tenor]" (But describing custom-ordered instruments, rather than "stock" models, could be complicated, confusing, and inadequate - for example my own instrument, #25100 from 1910, described in the ledger as a "No.6, Black, Gilt Fittings, Special" is basically a high-specification 48-key Aeola, only in "best hexagonal" form.) I'd say these 36-key instruments were most-likely made for a concertina band, and ask (for the sake of clarification) is #33011 a treble (bottom note G) or a tenor (bottom note C)?
  3. What you seem to have got is one very much like this Louis Lachenal, #8488: Only it has evidently been reworked/upgraded in the 20th century, with replacement metal buttons, plated finger rests, and quite likely the original brass reeds will have been replaced with steel.
  4. Most definitely Fred V, you'll find different reeds used in different models that were made the same week, never mind 13 years apart! Whilst a 36-key English made in 1935 ( is it #33694?) is going to be a "Special" (one-off) instrument that was made for a particular purpose. If I'm right in identifying your 36-key, it's listed as a No. 21 model, a flat-metal-ended instrument that would ordinarily be a 48-key, and those are generally pretty loud anyway, but if yours is of standard 6 1/4" size it may have extra large chambering and reeds. Meanwhile, what model is your 1922 Wheatstone 48-key? Pictures, especially of the reed-pans, would be a great help.
  5. Here's a c.1956 Wheatstone catalogue, with the specifications of the different models then available, for your perusal. Amboyna-wood was a de-luxe finish. The amboyna-finished Aeola on the front cover is a larger 64-key tenor-treble version of yours, model number 10E.
  6. Seeing that Louis Lachenal was French-speaking Swiss, I'd assume he would have pronounced it the French way - La-shenal, and certainly his great-grandson, Bill Lachenal, seemed to have had no problem with that when I met him in 2000. Whilst many people seem to pronounce it Latchenal.
  7. There's a lot of information about Murdoch's in this old thread Chris Abbott: What Has Happened To This Poor Beast? By the latest estimates, your Lachenal Anglo #108244 would probably have been made towards the end of 1889.
  8. World War One Mike, which (I'm coincidentally reminded) ended on this day 103 years ago. When the worst thig you could be was German, so that German shepherd dogs became Alsatians, and the Lachenal family (in England) changed its name to La Chenal...
  9. Personally I've never been a fan of "tipo a mano" (TAM) accordion reeds. I prefer the more vintage sound of ordinary "factory", or "macchina" ones, or the full-bodied tone and dynamic range of genuine "a mano" (handmade). Though the latter can cause problems if you try to put them into an instrument that isn't designed for them, because of their length.
  10. I'm sorry to say the ledger(s) for 1892-1910 are long lost, possibly burned.
  11. I already replied to rebi-la-volpe in a different thread where she asked the question (but was unsure what the correct number was) Dave:
  12. Lachenal English concertina #59117 would have been made towards the end of 1923.
  13. According to the latest estimates from the Lachenal dating project, #1655 or 1665 would date from 1897, #1335 would be 1894.
  14. The terminology can get horrendously confused, and complicated, David, and vary from place to place, time to time, and person to person. What you describe as a tenor violin is described elsewhere, by others, as a tenor viola, baritone violin, or octave violin, but that's a very uncommon instrument and it isn't played in quartets. Whilst a mandola tuned that way is described as an octave mandola. "Tenor" tuning of stringed instruments, including the (regular, not "Irish") tenor banjo, and tenor mandola is (historically) the same as that of the viola/tenor violin. You'll find 18th/19th century British scores commonly have the viola part denoted as for "Tenor" - indeed I see Schott still sell a tutor book that they describe as "School for the Viola or Tenor Violin" and Merriam-Webster's primary definition of tenor violin is "viola" - with the secondary definition "any of several instruments intermediate between the viola and the violoncello." I'm also aware of numerous directory entries, etc., stating musicians of the time were performers on "violin, tenor" or "violin, tenor, violoncello," but better-still, I've found a book that was published in New York in 1847, "A Dictionary of Science, Literature, and Art" by W. T. Brande, p.805, that describes the violin family as "Violin, Tenor violin, Violoncello, and Double bass" and (conclusively) shows the range of each instrument... Anyway, when they started to play string quartets on English concertinas in the 1840s, a fifth-lower-pitched instrument called the tenor concertina was devised, especially to play viola parts (and I've got one of them from that time). But viola parts can also be played (with different fingering) on baritone concertinas, which are pitched a fourth lower than the tenor, hence lacking the upper range.
  15. No, a string quartet comprises two violins, viola (still commonly referred to as a "tenor" or "tenor violin" in the 19th century), and a cello (which is the bass of the violin family, and was described in the old church bands as a "bass viol"). (The bowed instrument sometimes referred to as the "bass" is actually deeper again, and should be correctly described as the double bass, or contrabass.) So the corresponding instruments in the concertina family would be two trebles, one tenor (or a baritone, which normally goes down lower), and a C-bass.
  16. Or, even more likely, the pan has dropped at that location due to a corner support block becoming unglued.
  17. According to the very latest estimates from the Lachenal dating project, Anglo #182979 would have been made in 1911.
  18. Interesting, and probably a result of this momentous event: "At two minutes to midnight on Saturday, 12th November, 1927, a team of operators at the Holborn Telephone Exchange stepped back from their switchboards, held hands and sang Auld Lang Syne. The era of manually connecting every call was coming to an end. At midnight, the system was cut to automatic." (https://portalsoflondon.com/2019/10/08/whispering-wires-the-holborn- telephone-exchange-crisis/) It was the first exchange to change over in London, making connected telephones much easier to use, and probably why Lachenal's number changed in the aftermath. Not a new one, but a more accurate date for the "c.1890" one overprinted with Joseph Astley's address. As I've shown in my article "Joseph Astley, Oldham Concertina Band and the MHJ Shield", Joseph Astley's previous addresses are known, up to 1895, before he moved into 188, Manchester Street, so c.1896 might be nearer to the mark. My point there was that English concertina number 28320 probably dated from 1888 because of the "Bowing Valves" Patent that it advertises, and I see it is still allocated to that year in the dating estimates.
  19. The actual makers of these instruments, in France, would have stamped their names into the woodwork (if at all), usually into the pallet board where the pads are, or into the reedpan inside, where the reeds are. Any paper labels on the outside were added by the importer/dealer, or by a previous owner. In the early 1900s there was an instrument dealer named H. Willson in Horncastle, Lincs., and a piano and music dealer named H. S. Wilson in Keswick, Cumb.
  20. I'm glad to see my Italian attribution confirmed by this grey one, but (sadly) the "Brevettata" isn't a maker's name - it simply means "Patented" in English.
  21. You need a C bass (one that plays down to C, an octave lower than a tenor) to play cello parts.
  22. I was about to ask you the dates of the newspaper articles sadbrewer, but you've beaten me to it. I'd also wondered if William Mitchell might have patented his invention, so the 1912 date in this 1921 article set me looking at my photocopies of Patent Abridgements (I spent a very useful day in the British Library, some 25 years ago, scouring through their Patent Abridgements 1859-1929 - looking for concertina-related patents), but I discovered that his Oct. 26 1912 Patent #24,523 was for a rather different model: It seems the instrument that was sold at auction in 2011 conforms more to the descriptions given in his subsequent patents. Aug. 5 1925 Patent #259,703; July 8 1926 #260,199; And April 3 1930 #338,094:
  23. Ken, Could you merge the original thread in Buy & Sell into this one? There's some interesting concertina history here!
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